How to Host Your Own Bike Beyond Screening

WRITTEN BY: Matt Swain

In Summer of 2017, I biked across America as part of Team Bike Beyond. It was an incredible experience in health, community, challenge, and ultimately living beyond — and, as you may know, you can catch the whole journey in the amazing Bike Beyond documentary. This past September, I hosted a screening of the Bike Beyond documentary at the foremost children’s diabetes clinic in downtown Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children. For me however, this was not just any diabetes clinic — it was the clinic where I was diagnosed nearly 12 years ago, my home clinic!

It meant so much to me to be able to walk through those doors again, in a newfound leadership capacity. I felt like I now had the power to be the T1D role model I wish I had had as a newly diagnosed teen entering those tough adolescent years.

The screening was a huge success, and the impact of our adventure was felt by clinicians, patients, and families alike! I can’t take credit for the documentary — Beyond Type 1, Director Neil Greathouse, my amazing teammates, and the community that supported us across the country in Summer 2017 take all the praise for that — but I do think the idea of hosting a screening in a diabetes clinic, especially a pediatric endocrinology clinic, is a powerful one.

Here’s how you can pull that off:

1. Reach out to the staff

Lucky for me, I still have connections to the nursing team at Sick Kids Endocrinology clinic. I sent a quick “Remember me?” email, told them about Bike Beyond, and sent them the link to the trailer.

If you do not have access to someone on the clinical team, you can find the generic clinic phone number or email online, call the hospital main phone line (you might get transferred 100 times or so, but keep asking for the diabetes clinic), or just walk in.

2. Set a date and start promoting

Once they saw the trailer, they were in. We picked a date about two months down the road, in order to give us enough time to spread the word. Beyond Type 1 has an entire plan in place to help share materials, information, and promotional swag for movie screenings. They were awesome, helping us by designing posters, mailing materials to us for the big night, and sharing the event through their own channels!

In addition to BT1 and the clinic, I also reached out to some local organizations to help with promotion – the more the merrier!

3. Have a meeting with the clinic to go over logistics

We sat down two weeks before the night of the screening to go over the flow of the evening: who would do the introductions, how much time we had for questions after the film, and any topics they wanted to be addressed. There are a lot of educational moments in the film that can be discussed – how to keep insulin cool in the desert, high intensity exercise and its impact on BGs, and topics around severe lows as well as DKA.

4. Have fun!

Be sure to invite your friends and family, get some popcorn (possible sponsorship opportunity?), and have a great time chatting with other Type 1’s and their friends and family.

Read all about Bike Beyond here!

Matt Swain

Matt is a proud husband, pug dad, Type 1 diabetes advocate, and cyclist/logistics coordinator for Team Bike Beyond. He currently lives in Toronto.